How can I strengthen my futon frame?
May 20, 2012 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Soliciting suggestions from handyperson types: How can I reinforce my futon to withstand heavier loads?

I've recently moved out on my own and bought a futon for the master bedroom. I've always found them to be comfortable and priced right. It's a Day & Night Eureka model. The frame is made from oak, but the hinge section features this rubber contraption attached to the back deck which makes it pretty easy to assemble and transform.

Problem is, my partner and I combine to exceed the weight allowance for the futon, and more than once, the front deck has popped out of the hinge, so the bed spontaneously disassembles beneath our heft. By avoiding the tender points of the bed, I've managed to avoid many unpleasant collapses, but it's now given out on me in the middle of the night while sleeping solo, so something must be done.

I'm evaluating my options to reinforce the thing. I'm not concerned with locking the futon in Bed Mode - that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make - but if possible, I'd like to do this without making irreversible modifications to the frame (e.g. drilling holes). That said, I'm evaluating three options right now:
  1. Lash the decks to the futon arms with rope or zip ties
  2. Prop up the futon beneath the joint connecting the decks with bricks or wood
  3. Drill through the arms into the decks and insert large bolts
To aid in visualization, here are some snapshots of the frame in question:

low-flying bird's-eye view (the front deck is on the left side)
rubber hinge assembly

Any and all suggestions are welcome, especially those from handyperson/woodworking types that have a sense of what's structurally sound. Thanks very much!

This is my first AskMe post - apologies for any inadvertent transgressions!
posted by blue t-shirt to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Best answer: I had a very similar futon and a weight problem (in my case, it was storing machinery on the bed due to limited space). I just stacked up books under it until they were bearing the majority of the load instead of the inadequate hinge mechanism. My vote is for stacking stuff - ideally slightly compliant stuff (wood, foam, not cement bricks) to take some of the load off the frame.
posted by fake at 11:03 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Bricks for the win, but can you drill a hole underneath the hinge and insert a bolt that can act like a retaining pin?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:33 PM on May 20, 2012

Response by poster: You mean, so the deck sat on top of the bolt, rather than was drilled through? That's a possibility... but if I was gonna put extra holes in the mother, why not go straight through and drill into the decks themselves?

I went to the lumber yard and got some sawn pieces of 2x4 which i'm going to glue together and pad with cork. We'll see how that works.
posted by blue t-shirt at 1:34 PM on May 20, 2012

Could you (or someone you know) rebuild that rubbery bit out of something rigid? I'm guessing that with $5 worth of aluminum (from a metals supply place - it will be a lot more from a home improvement store) and 15 minutes with a drill press and you could replace that with something that would hold you, any three of your friends plus Fake and his machinery with no trouble at all. (The rest of the frame would now be the weak link, and it would be a hell of a drive for Fake, but you get the point.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:24 PM on May 20, 2012

« Older Are there any single mother MeFites who conceived...   |   Help me save my Shuffles Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.